Writing, politics, and agnotology: Maintaining the institutional viability of composition studies in an age of reform

Tristan E Abbott, Purdue University


This dissertation defines and demonstrates the pervasiveness of neoliberal policies within higher education. It then discusses the potentially deleterious effects such policies could have upon the teaching of writing, the administration of writing programs, and the services offered within writing labs and writing centers. Composition pedagogy tends to be student-centered, which requires some degree of individualization and fluidity, and these core tenets run counter to neoliberal pushes for a more uniform and standardized approach to classroom practice and assessment. Accordingly, this project discusses strategies for satisfying the demands inherent within neoliberal education discourse without necessitating harmful changes in pedagogy or teaching practice.




Sullivan, Purdue University.

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